MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE — Last year, Central School District superintendent Jennifer Kubista held several community chats.

While the goal was to gain input from stakeholders for the strategic plan the district will submit to the state in November, some concerns will be addressed sooner.

Through a partnership with Polk County, each school in the district will have a full-time mental health professional this year, Kubista said.

Previously, there were some supports in the elementary schools and one part-time person in both secondary levels, Kubista said.

At the high school, wellness rooms will be added.

“If kids just need a moment, they have a place to collect themselves,” she said. “Our goal is to have those built through all five schools.”

Ash Creek and Monmouth elementary schools have behavior specialists, and there is an English-language specialist at Independence elementary.

“The board and I met on (Aug. 19) in an 8-hour workshop,” Kubista said. “We did some great work and had good conversation.”

They have a first draft of the strategic plan, she said, but they expect to make some adjustments to it.

“Probably as school starts, we’re going to come out to the community,” Kubista said.

The school board has two new members — Vidal Peña and Jannice Link-Jobe — and will have student representation.

“I have great staff. I have great leaders. Everything from leaders in the classroom, to classified to principals,” Kubista said. “We have appointed student reps to the board this year. I’m really excited about adding student voice as part of that process.”

Enrollment

Enrollment in all grades fluctuates throughout the school year, but as of Aug. 23, Central School District was at about 3,300 students.

“That’s the current number based on enrollment,” Kubista said. “That doesn’t mean that’s what it’s going to be in the middle of September.”

Kubista announced on Aug. 20 that all out-of-district enrollment was closed. It’s a move to support students in the district.

“As we are looking at capacity of our schools, taking a look at class size, one of the first steps we’ll take is not to allow outside-of-district enrollment,” Kubista said.

Last year, there were between 3,200 and 3,275 students in the district, she said.

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